What is Atlas Orthogonal (AO)?


What is the AO Technique?


The Atlas Orthogonal (AO) Technique is a highly sophisticated approach to spinal care that focuses on the relationship of the Atlas vertebra (the first vertebra of the neck) with the base of the skull and the Axis vertebra (the second bone of the neck). This area is arguably the most significant and important area of the spinal column. Dysfunction at this level can affect the whole body in a variety of ways, ranging from neck pain to low back pain, headaches to seizures, and much more.

What exactly is an Atlas Misalignment?

An Atlas Misalignment means that the Atlas is not in its proper place or position in relation to the other bones of the spine or head. The relationship between the Atlas and the Occiput (base of the skull) is responsible for 50% of flexion and extension (nodding) of the head. The relationship between the Atlas and Axis is responsible for 50% of the rotation (turning left and right) of the head. With greater mobility than any other vertebra it also has least stability. For example, the shoulder joint is way more mobile than the hip joint, and people sure hear about dislocated shoulders way more often than they hear of dislocated hips!

When the Altas is misaligned the head naturally tilts with it, but the body has a natural reflex to compensate for that tilt in order to maintain balanced vision. It does this by tightening muscles to straighten the head! This unfortunately starts a cascade of muscles tightening down the body to compensate for the other tightened muscles. This tightening will go all the way down the spine to the feet. These tightened muscles down the leg can be so significant that one leg will actually look shorter based on the restriction.


This also explains why gentle, precise adjustments to the neck (Atlas) can have a profound affect on low back pain and pain in other areas of the body; it is actually treating the cause of the dysfunction, not the symptom!


How are AO Adjustments Different than Other Chiropractic Adjustments?


Atlas Orthogonal adjustments focus on the correction of Atlas misalignments by using a specialized instrument that is safe, gentle, and precise. The instrument uses a stylus that delivers an impulse at the exact angle needed to realign the Atlas to its proper location as determined by in-depth x-ray analysis of each person’s individual misalignment. This individualized adjustment means that just the slightest, gentle force is needed. There is no twisting or or jarring of the neck or head.

The adjustment is actually so gentle that it can be surprising, and the results from proper alignment of the upper cervical spine are pretty exciting. We have have seen patients no longer needing canes to walk, having chronic pain disappear, children’s emotional behaviors change, and we have witnessed a trigeminal neuralgia patient become asymptomatic!

The science behind this technique is strong, and the documented results are numerous. Contact us to see how the AO technique can help you and your family!

Who Can the AO Technique Help?


When most people think of chiropractic corrections, they think of neck pain, back pain, or muscle aches. The AO technique can for sure help with aches and pain, but because of the stress and tension that an Atlas misalignment can have on nerves and CSF Flow, it can also affect the communication between the brain and body, thus affecting more aspects of physical and even mental activities. Many symptoms can be relieved by the AO technique, and it has been proven to help such conditions as:


• Multiple Sclerosis
• Arthritis
• Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Fibromyalgia
• Migraines and other headaches
• Asthma
• Chronic pain or stress
• Athletic injuries
• Auto accident injuries
• Neck and back pain
• Herniated discs
• Scoliosis
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Seizures, including Epileptic
• Leg and arm numbness
• Sinus problems
• Allergies
• Dizziness
• Bell’s Palsy
• Horner’s Syndrome
• Trigeminal Neuralgia
• Sciatica

Peak Atlas Chiropractic    –    1940 Greeley St S #107, Stillwater, MN 55082    –    Call/Text: 651-300-9566       Contact Us